THE United Nations General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution calling for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in Gaza.

It also demands “continuous, sufficient and unhindered” provision of lifesaving supplies and services for civilians trapped inside the enclave, as reports suggest Israel has expanded ground operations and intensified it bombing campaign.

This was the first UN response to Hamas’s surprise October 7 attacks on Israel and the ongoing military response and vow to obliterate Hamas.

The 193-member world body adopted the resolution by a vote of 120-14 with 45 abstentions after rejecting a Canadian amendment backed by the United States to unequivocally condemn the “terrorist attacks” by Hamas and demand the immediate release of hostages taken by Hamas.

The fourteen members who voted against the resolution are:

  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Czechia
  • Fiji
  • Guatemala
  • Hungary
  • Israel
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Nauru
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Tonga
  • United States of America

The United Kingdom abstained from voting.

This comes as the Israeli military said its ground forces are “expanding their activity” in the Gaza Strip, as the army moved closer to a full ground invasion of the besieged territory.

Daniel Hagari, the army’s spokesman, said aerial attacks had been targeting Hamas tunnels and other targets.

Hagari said: “In addition to the attacks that we carried out in recent days, ground forces are expanding their activity this evening.

“The IDF is acting with great force… to achieve the objectives of the war.”

Micheal Martin, Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, issued a statement following the UN vote.

Martin said: "Tonight, Ireland supported the UN General Assembly Resolution on the crisis in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

"The dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip requires the international community to speak strongly.

"The resolution emphasises the urgent need for humanitarian assistance which civilians in Gaza so desperately need."

Martin expressed disappointment that a Canadian amendment to condemn "the brutal terrorist attack by Hamas" was not approved.

The statement continued: "We are disappointed that a Canadian amendment, clearly condemning the brutal terrorist attack by Hamas and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages, was not approved. There should be no room for doubt on this.

"We also recall that obligations under International Humanitarian Law fall to all parties, state and non-state actors alike.

"I will continue to work for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire, the protection of civilians and regional de-escalation.

"Millions of citizens deserve nothing less."

The Hamas government said Israel "cut communications and most of the internet" across the Gaza Strip on Friday.

The government's media office accused Israel of taking the measure "to perpetrate massacres with bloody retaliatory strikes from the air, land and sea," as heavy strikes hit northern Gaza.

Palestinian telecom provider Paltel said internet service in the Gaza Strip has been cut off by the Israeli bombardment.

Services were cut on Friday evening following a heavy round of Israeli air strikes that lit up the sky over the territory.

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The Palestinian Red Crescent, the main emergency service in Gaza, said it was cut off from its operations room because of the internet blackout.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, which provides basic services to hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza, said it has been forced to ration fuel among lifesaving machines in hospitals, bakeries, and desalination plants, and only has enough for a few more days.

Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, told reporters: “The siege means that food, water and fuel – basic commodities – are being used to collectively punish more than two million people, among them, a majority of children and women.”